French lawmakers target Airbnb’s $2 billion market

France: Airbnb has become the target of french lawmakers, as the country’s market becomes the second largest worldwide.

Authorities are demanding Airbnb send them rental data for the past year in order to detect for possible tax avoidance, according to Bloomberg News.

Sources close to the company say that bookings in France has ballooned to around $2 billion. Large cities are seeing huge numbers of homes converted into rentals, namely Paris, where 30,000 homes are now advertised.

A spokeswoman for the Paris city council said to Bloomberg: “Airbnb threatens the soul and identity of a number of neighbourhoods. We cannot remain inert in the face of this situation.”

Paris and Bordeaux are taking advantage of legislation that allows them to request data from the platforms. This may help the two cities improve their own local ordinances.

However, a group of Parisian super hosts, calling themselves Entr’Hotes, have petitioned the city, hoping for more transparency. According to Bloomberg, they said the city is blaming Airbnb for its own inability to control the urban housing market.

Christine, a 63-year-old host in the 11th arrondisement said: “Airbnb must how them wrong, and only data will prove it.”

France is also one of many countries which has implemented a sizable digital tax on tech companies such as Airbnb. Both the UK and Poland have seen their example and have plans for a similar fee.

France suspended its tax last week in the face of threats from the US president to enforce high tariffs. Airbnb recorded contributing between 5 and 10 million euros before the freeze.

Airbnb’s expansion and plans for an IPO make the sizable french holiday market a key target, in spite of legislation. With experience handling poor relationships in New York and Boston, the company should adapt quickly in the future.

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